Ballinasloe’s Aidan Grenhan has set his sights on the G4D Tour after coming up one shot short of the title at the inaugural Irish Open for Golfers with a Disability at Roganstown.
Grenham was part of the Irish team that romped to a 25-shot win at the European Team Championships last month and off the back of a near-miss at his first ever Irish Open, Grenham is keen to kick on as the competition continues to increase in golf’s disability ranks.
“It’s great to actually get one at home,” Grenham said, having competed at two other EDGA events prior to Roganstown.
“There are a lot more of us playing these days and the amount of talent that we have in this country deserved one. You only have to look at the way we won the European Team Championships a couple of weeks ago. Even just having this event this week, there’s already a lot more people hearing about it and are showing up so the talent is only going to get better.”
The road to the top for disability golfers in Ireland has been paved by world number one Brendan Lawlor who was absent from Roganstown due to Sky Sports duties for the JP McManus Pro-Am. And with the top-10 on the rankings guaranteed lucrative starts on the G4D Tour, that’s the next goal for the likes of Grenham and Irish teammates Conor Stone and Alan Gaynor with more opportunities to come this summer.
“That’s the goal alright,” smiled Grenham, who signed off with a second successive one-over 72 in Roganstown.
“We’ve seen what Brendan’s been able to do and although we have a ways to go to catch up with him – he’s a phenomenal player – it’s definitely something to strive for.
“The three of us on the team are definitely looking to try and get into the top-10 and get an invite into a couple of G4D events and hopefully we can kick on from there.”
A powerful golfer, Grenham lost his right leg in an accident in Boston more than five years ago now, falling from some 30-feet and shattering his nerves before an immediate amputation was needed.
He was first made aware of the EDGA Tour through another member at Ballinasloe last September but waited until this year to make his debut. Now the smiling Ballinsaloe man’s positive attitude has ensured his lost leg has never held him back, especially on the golf course
“Not at all,” he laughed. “Seeing the ball travel 300-yards in the air on average is nice alright!
“I started playing golf when I was around 10 but gave it up for a couple of years and got back to it when I was 20 maybe. I’m back on it about four years on the prosthetic leg and thankfully still hitting it well.”
Not just well, Grenham, whose swing speed would be up there with most able-bodied tour pros, showed that he has accuracy to his game too, making a stunning ace at the penultimate hole on Wednesday as he put a squeeze on eventual winner, Bradley Smith from England.
“It was into the wind so I just thought I’d hit a hard 50 degree and try get it up on top of the hill and spin it back,” he recalled, still raging that there were no cameras around to capture the moment.
“When I hit it, it was on line and when it hit the top of the hill, it just started spinning and I was like, ‘it’s in, it’s in’, and thankfully it dropped.
“That’s the second one I’ve had – I had one at the home course about two years ago but it’s great to get another one at an event like this.”